AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File

Minnesota Court Rules Guns in Cars Count As Guns in Public

Except in states where it’s expressly authorized, most of us know not to walk around displaying a firearm in public, even if it’s holstered. We may not agree with the law, but we know it is the law, so unless we’re trying to challenge it or something, we know better.

Yes, even if it’s stupid.

But what about your car?

In some states, there are expressly written rules about transporting a firearm in your vehicle, but it’s generally understood that your car is your property. If you’re caught transporting a gun in a way that isn’t in accordance with the law, you get charged, but it doesn’t count as having a gun in public.

Unless, of course, you live in Minnesota now.

Keeping a gun in your car while on a Minnesota roadway can be considered being in a public place, according to a recent state Court of Appeals ruling.|
The ruling came down Monday as part of the investigation into a man charged with illegally possessing a BB gun.
According to the criminal complaint, Kyaw Be Bee was arrested after being suspected in a catalytic converter theft back in May 2022.
While Ramsey County deputies searched his car, they found a BB gun under the driver’s seat. Bee was charged with illegally carrying a BB gun in a public place.
BB guns are included under the Minnesota statute that prohibits carrying rifles or shotguns in public. To have a BB gun in a public setting, it needs to be unloaded and kept in a gun case. However, there are exceptions for people with pistol permits or under certain circumstances, like bringing the weapon home after a purchase or taking it in for repairs.

Initially, the courts found that inside someone’s car wasn’t “public” and dismissed those charges, but upon appeal by the state, that changed. Now, the Minnesota Supreme Court figured that sure, inside your car counts as “public.”

This, of course, is troubling.

Minnesota law says you can transport a gun in your car, but it must be unloaded and inside of a case of some kind. What that means is that absent a concealed carry permit, you can’t have a gun for self-defense in your vehicle at all.

A lot of people aren’t worried about being mugged. They’re not worried about mass shootings. What they’re worried about is getting carjacked, especially when there are numerous examples of it in the news.

What this ruling does is make it illegal for them to take a piece of private property, put it inside another piece of private property, and defend themselves because now, that car is considered “public.”

Considering all the things I’ve done in my car because I considered it privacy, this is…disturbing, to say the least, even absent the Second Amendment aspects.

Especially when you consider the Fourth Amendment means police can’t search this part of the public without a warrant, but it’s still considered public.

This is a bad ruling and it’s one I don’t think the justices clearly thought through. Unfortunately, for those in Minnesota, well, this is what you’re stuck with now. Elections have consequences and this is the result of those.

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